Jeff Guenther on Apr 11, 2017
Blogging is hard. Especially when you’re running a private practice. Sometimes it feels like it’s just not worth it. I get it. It can be really difficult to motivate myself to write blogs. But if you can push through the resistance and start producing content, you’ll end up getting a lot out of it. In this article, I’ll cover four important reasons you should blog as a therapist. And, as a bonus, download a free list of 100 blog topics for therapists to get you started.
As therapists we all know that developing rapport with a client is one of the most crucial things you need to do for successful treatment. But did you realize your clients have already started that process when they initially visit your website? Potential clients often read everything you have written on your website. They do this because it’s important to them that they find a good fit and are looking for someone that they can feel comfortable with. By reading your website content, they are trying to get to know what type of counselor you are and how you might come across in session.
A client will often visit your blog section because that is where you’ll go into more detail on a specific subject that may be of interest to them. It’s also where your writing can (and should) come across as approachable and likable. Many of the other pages on our websites are written in a more formal tone. Your blog can be more informal, which can be more inviting and will encourage people to reach out and make an appointment with you.
If you are a therapist, listen to the new podcast Say More About That. A podcast created specifically for therapists to learn more about what clients really want in a counselor. In this episode Jill, a woman in her 30's who never thought therapy was for her, talks about how difficult it was to find a therapist that was truly a good match. Click play below or listen on Apple Podcast or Spotify.
Along with being more approachable and likable, you also have the chance to blog about mental health issues and treatment interventions that you feel passion for and know a lot about. This is where you can show off your expertise in certain areas. While clients want to know that you are likable, they also want to know you’re an authority in your field. This is your chance to show off you’re experience and knowledge that you’ve picked up during your career (or during your education if you are just starting out). Clients feel safe and trust therapists that they see as experts.
Having and maintaining a full caseload is much easier when you’re ranking high in the Google search results for popular search terms. You’ll be rewarded by Google in two different ways if you regularly blog. First, you’ll be able to rank for more search terms because you’ll have more content on your website. The more content you have about therapy and mental health topics, the more likely it is that your website will display for search queries. Second, Google rewards website that aren’t stagnant. When all the content stays the same and no new pages are added, Google notices. Every time you post a new blog to your website, a new page with fresh content is added and Google sees your website as more relevant, current and reliable.
Last, and definitely not least, your blog section is where you can double down on building your brand and focusing on drawing in your ideal clients. As therapists, we’re all generalists. But that’s not going to set us apart from any other counselor in our city. Use your blog section to parse out who you really are, what you stand for and what matters to you. You have the chance to develop your professional identity on these pages and appeal to the exact client that you want to work with. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to speak directly to your ideal clients. This is the perfect place to really define yourself.
Now that you have some really good reasons to start blogging, all you have to do is come up with topics to write about. If you are feeling stumped for a great blog idea, I’ve got your back. Download this list of 100 blog topics specifically for mental health practitioners.
And as a final piece of advice: Don’t make 'perfect' the enemy of 'good.' Just get started! Don’t wait until you have the “perfect” idea written “perfectly” to post something. Good luck!
Jeff Guenther, LPC, is a therapist in Portland, OR. He has been in private practice since 2005. Jeff is the creator and owner of Portland Therapy Center, a highly ranked therapist directory. Jeff, and his team, have launched a new progressive therapist directory, TherapyDen.